Monday, December 7, 2009

A Brief Case of Reincarnation with Stevenson and Motoyama

We have already talked about one case from Hiroshi Motoyama (The Case of Ms. Y) and one from Dr. Ian Stevenson (Gillian and Jennifer Pollock). Now, I would like illustrate how Ian Stevenson's work has impacted Motoyama, in "Karma and Reincarnation" Motoyama discusses an experience he had that helped persuade him that Stevenson had dealt with true cases of reincarnation. First, he verifies Stevenson's credibility by discussing how it is impressive that Stevenson has used such a "diverse" amount of countries including the Western and European ones (Motoyama 82).

Stevenson actually paid a visit to Motoyama, and told him about a special case he was studying and which was presented in his book "20 Cases Suggestive of Reincarnation" about an Indian man who had reached out to Stevenson. This man claimed to remember a past life of his, a life in which he was a British officer during World War I. During the war, the British officer died when a bullet pierced his throat (entering in one side and leaving through the opposite side of the throat).

The Indian man also could clearly and vividly remember details of the hometown of the British officer he claimed to have been: he remembered the house he was from, the officer's parents names, local sayings in the area, street layouts, and landmarks in the town he claimed the officer was from.

Stevenson then told Motoyama about the research he did into the Indian man's life, he verified and was certain that this Indian man had no way of travelling to Scotland/England and the area he told them of in those countries. Dr. Stevenson flew to Scotland to the exact location described by the Indian man and was shocked to find that every detail the Indian man had told him about the town had been correct. Even the family verified that their son had been an officer and was shot in the throat and the dialect was exactly as the man had described.

Motoyama was impressed by Stevenson's unbiased approach and thorough research, and claims that Stevenson convinced him in this case (Motoyama 83). Also something Motoyama agreed with was the placement of birthmarks on the man's throat, it corresponded to where the British officer had been shot and matched the story the Indian man had told, the Scottish family the British officer was from also verified the location the bullet entered their son and it was identical to the birthmarks on the Indian man's neck.

This case, though brief and discussed in both Stevenson's and Motoyama's books and I believe that gives the case a certain amount of credibility, especially since Motoyama is a well revered human psychologist as well as very published author. I liked this case and find it convincing because it connects the elements of remembering past lives in explicit detail and being able to verify them with a living relative of the deceased. It was also impressive that the Indian man had never been to or heard of the area prior to having it verified by Dr. Ian Stevenson.

Motoyama, Hiroshi. Karma and Reincarnation. Encintitas: CIHS, 2009. Print.
Stevenson MD, Ian. 20 Cases Suggestive of Reincarnation. New York City: American Society for Physical Research, 1966. Print.

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